A trial court’s judgment confirming an arbitration award and awarding certain pre- and post-judgment interest to the defendant insurance companies was unsuccessfully appealed, the appellate court determining that an earlier remand to the arbitration panel was proper because, among other things, nothing in the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc. precluded that procedure. On appeal, the plaintiff contended that the trial court: (1) improperly remanded the matter to the arbitration panel for clarification of its award; (2) improperly confirmed the arbitration award as clarified; and (3) abused its discretion in awarding pre- and post-judgment interest.
On the first point, the plaintiff contended that Hall Street Associates overruled the body of precedent permitting a remand to an arbitration panel for clarification of an award. This contention was rejected, as the issue in Hall Street Associates was whether parties to an arbitration proceeding could, by contractual agreement, supplement the statutory grounds for vacating an arbitration award. Hall Street Associates did not concern the procedure at issue, a remand for clarification of an arbitration award. On the second point, plaintiff argued that the arbitration panel imperfectly executed its powers, so that the clarified arbitration award did not conform to the submission. The appellate court noted, however, that courts will not review the evidence nor, where the submission is unrestricted, will they review the arbitrators’ decision of the legal questions. The submission at issue was unrestricted. On the third point, the plaintiff claimed the trial court abused its discretion in awarding pre- and post-judgment interest. The decision, however, of whether to grant interest is an equitable determination within the trial court’s discretion. The trial court’s reasoning was sound: “Although it does not appear that the plaintiff made its motions and appeals in bad faith, the plaintiff would receive an unfair advantage if it were allowed to retain this money while the defendants were deprived of its use and the opportunity to earn interest upon it for the past six years.” The judgment was confirmed in full. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s, Case No. AC 30162 (Conn. App. Ct. May 11, 2010).